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More Reagan sailors reporting illnesses caused by Fukushima radiation

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In March of 2011, an earthquake caused a tsunami, which slammed into the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The U.S. Navy responded immediately, but now some sailors are paying a price for their service.

"I don't think anybody on board really knew the full scope of what was going on,” says Lieutenant Steve Simmons.

What is clear is that within months of deploying to the coast of Japan following the accident, Navy Lt. Steve Simmons was getting sick. He was one of 70,000 United States servicemen and women who helped after the disaster.

Radiation poured in the air and water after a giant wave from a tsunami hit the power plant.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was one of the first ships on the scene to help.

Now about a hundred sailors from the ship have unexplained illnesses.

“One day I was just coming out of the bathroom and my legs just buckled on me and that was pretty much it,” Simmons says.

Now Simmons relies on a wheelchair. His lymph nodes are swollen.

Other Reagan sailors have reported leukemia and other cancers, along with bleeding, headaches and hair loss.

They are now suing the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tepco, claiming it hid the dangers from the radiation leak at the Fukushima plant.

"The Tepco people who ran the plant never warned their government. Their government never warned the world. The command never got the order don't go you're going to get cooked,” says attorney Paul Garner.

Lawyers are facing an uphill battle – proving the link between the radiation leak and their illnesses.

“Drawing a cause and effect for individuals is exceedingly difficult,” says Professor Wayne Biddle of Johns Hopkins University.

Tests taken onboard the Reagan showed radiation levels below what is considered dangerous. Some of the sailors worry they may not live to see the outcome of their legal case.

“The hardest part is the family. We have three children. Our oldest daughter, she struggles with the dad’s going to die kind of thing,” Simmons says.

Simmons and his fellow sailors aren’t the only ones who want answers. Congress is now asking the Department of Defense for information about the medical conditions of crew members who were aboard the Reagan and what’s being done to treat them.


  • Barry Cohen

    TEPCO has been lying to everyone for years and the Japanese Government let it happen making them just as guilty! I assure you that TEPCO knew exactly how bad the radiation really was and they allowed that aircraft carrier to move right into the Fukushima hot zone! Also my company offered TEPCO and the Japanese Government a full 100 percent FREE shipping filled with the radiation detox mineral Zeolite to remove the radiation from peoples bodies! However both TEPCO and the Japanese Government refused the FREE ZEOLITE! This alone shows us how little these people really care about the people both in Japan and on the Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier that have been poisoned with toxic radiation!

    • Low Down

      How did TEPCO allow the carrier off the coast of Japan. The USS Reagan was moved off the coast, downwind mind you, by our incompetent leaders, from the White House down to the CO of the boat. TEPCO did not tell the Reagan’s crew to washdown the exposed decks of the ship without the appropriate CBR gear. The crews safety is the ultimate responsibility of the CO and those who dispatched the ship into the waters off Japan. Let’s see how many of the leaders are punished for their lack of judgement.

    • Low Down

      Here is another thing I was in Japan during the tsunami and in Tokyo after the Fukashima plant blew up. When I left Narita airport I noticed that the Chinese government was checking all passengers and cargo out of Japan for radiation. The US no. When I arrived in Dulles the cargo was checked for radiation, and the passengers were not. Now what kind of sense does that make? The Chinese government got it, but out of all our federal bureaucracies not one thought to check the cargo before it left Japan.
      The Customs guy did ask me if I enjoyed my visit. There is that.

  • Leonard Murphy

    The USS Ronald Reagan is a nuclear powered ship. Yes, they have radiations sensors and yes they have trained rad protection people aboard. This entire story will fall and burn in a few weeks after the second court to heat it shoots it down.

    • Low Down

      Unfortunately the sailors who were topside might not experience any symptoms or illness till their advanced years. Much like exposure to asbestos. All this could have been avoided by not taking the Reagan into the radiation cloud.

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